Tag Archives: snow

Where have I been?

Where have I been?

This past October I was sitting at a red light, near my doctor’s office, which I had just left. When our car was rear-ended. I was told by the police officer my car was drivable. It wasn’t. Oh, I made it home all right. Then it fell apart like a cartoon character. It was declared totalled by my insurance company, the frame looked like and accordion. I was told we were lucky.

Lots of pain, lots more physical troubles. Our savings for taxes went into the buying a used, 100,000-mile new car, new to us car.

***

I tend to growl a lot like my  American shorthair cat, Sanosuki.  We call him Sano or Suki,  he grumbles and hides in the closet. If he would let me I would be in there with him.

***

I hope that all of you are well, happy- alive and breathing. Please put down your cell phones when you drive. Turn the insane things off. Notice the cars around you. Watch the trees, animals, people and all the fun things you will miss by being electronically connected. Check out the odd things people do in their cars when they think no one is watching.

***

This wasn't from today.  I missed the picture. So you see how the deck is swept off to feed the birds. Sano is to the bottom left.
This wasn’t from today. I missed the picture. So you see how the deck is swept off to feed the birds. Sano is to the bottom left.

This morning I decided to feed the birds off the deck, right outside the kitchen doors. There was one major problem. The ice, rain, sleet, snow that fell on December 30…froze solid. I couldn’t open the door.

No, problem, right. I pulled on my boots, heavy coat, hat, gloves and muffler and walked outside like some two-year-old, stuck under a mountain of clothes. I was  barely able to move my arms. I had the bread and birdseed wrapped in a piece of paper towel and carefully place in my side pocket. I grabbed my old ski poles and walked into the cold.

The blast of air that hit me had me ready to go back inside. (16 degrees Fahrenheit/ -8 degrees Celsius)

The sun was out and the air was clear and fresh. The snow was white, shining crystals of blue-grey and white. The taller grasses and wild foliage poked up a dried, frozen brown -beige, out of the layer of ice and snow. As I walked I didn’t crunch through the ice, I walked on top.

The deck was covered with three inches of ice and snow. I noticed something odd, the snow didn’t lie flat on the deck it was rounded. When I stepped on it I didn’t have a strong foothold. I had to slowly move up the deck holding tightly to the rail. This time, I was a child learning to walk hand over hand, unsteady worried about gravity.  I never made it up to the kitchen door. I couldn’t move the frozen snow/ice off the steps. It was as if the snow, ice and wooden deck  ‘were one’ and that was a force I didn’t want to slide on.

I removed the birdseed and shredded bread from my pocket.  Reached through the slats placing it carefully on the rounded- sloped mound of ice.

From inside the house, my cats were waiting impatiently for the birds. They didn’t have to wait long. Sanosuki chirped, mewed, purred as he ran up and down the cat tower, excited and hopeful that one bird would come inside. He sat and watched as the bread and seed disappear.

Poem for April 16th~ Old Saying In the Mid-West if you don’t like the weather wait a minute!

I couldn’t believe the way the snow came down today, and just last week it was hot, and I mean uncomfortably hot, somewhere near ninety..

I posted this poem for today’s prompt “write a snapshot poem” this afternoon I also took this video with the new camera, – it’s a Nikon.  

Link to poem a day challenge: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/04/16/2011AprilPADChallengeDay16.aspx

 I used up the Cannon after eight months and the Sony barely made it a month.  I had bought the extended warranty at Best Buy so I was able to try different cameras. So far the Nikon is the best.

Michael is beginning to think cameras don’t’ like me. I keep explaining that some electronics have gremlins in them

I thought I would have trouble with setting up a video, then I found using, Microsoft Live I could fix it and upload it to YouTube

Here’s April 16th, 2011’s poem..

“Freeze Frame”

by Gerardine Baugh

It is snowing

Uriah runs up to me

His thick coat is covered in water droplets

Looking up, he gives me a doggy grin

Knowing what’s coming I cringe and step back

He begins to shake

That, slow movement

Only his pudgy, furry body can accomplish. 

Where he turns his head one way, and

His body fat slips in the other direction

Water is launched from the ends of his fur

Encompassing him in a shower of reflected light 

I turned my back on him and the wind  

Time stops…

My hair covers my eyes

Snow blasts past me

An invisible serpent writhing as an updraft

Bellowing out my coat it slides up the naked trees.

Gathering up dry leaves from the ground, and

Playing with them around the tree tops

In a millisecond, sound stops

Then, the winds skate back down the trees

Letting go

Raining brown leaves within the white snow

Slipping across the grass, then

Like a playful child, pulls at my legs

Snowflakes hit my face stinging cold

Uriah doesn’t seem to notice the wind, or the cold snow

Staring expectantly

He whines and nudges at my hand for a treat

Poem…I Was A Perfect Stuffed Monkey~

I was a perfect stuffed monkey

Reddish fur with a beige tummy

face and feet

Until an animal got to me

Now, I lie here without arms, legs or ears

Even my tail was chewed off…

Maybe it was coyote

A raccoon

A fox

or possibly… a skunk  

Could have been that rat

                                    That rat

That steals Uriah’s food and rawhide bones

                                    That rat

that digs the holes around the kennel

under the garden, and

tunnels alongside the horseradish plant

One day the hawk will come by, and sit

Quietly on the railing

waiting for that rat to make a mistake

when he is dancing

on the top of the kennel

Just under the floor boards of the deck

He will scramble up

to look in the kitchen window

at that point, the hawk will strike…

And that rat will be no more

To late for me, I lie here without arms,

or legs, and ears… even my tail is gone

I have all the time in the world

To wonder

Now what..?

Check out everyone at Jingles Thursday poets rally-

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thursday-poets-rally-week-11-march-24-30-2010/

What A Difference A Day Makes!~ Or, Uriah Took A Walkabout!~

This morning the snow was gone. Not totally! There are still patches sitting in the shadows, under a bush or tree, and along the shaded area on the deck. For the most part, the snow melted as the warmer air and sunshine moved in.

Barely a breeze this morning, I stepped outside ready for my morning walk. I called to Uriah and headed along the path. Birds were fluttering from tree to tree, and screaming at my intrusion into their lives. How dare I!

This morning my walk was uneventful, or was it? Did I miss the rodents scurrying under the evergreens? Or the red-winged black birds flying over head then stopping to watch me as they perched on the highest point of the tallest tree..

I saw them all. A powdery blue sky, void of clouds, crowned above me as the beautiful green scent of spring drifted along my walking path. I was very relaxed and at peace with the day.

Uriah ran up to me, wagged his tail and ran to the tree line. He gave me a backwards glance and disappeared. I wasn’t concerned until I was back at the house, then I wondered where he was. I whistled! I called out! I walked next to the Bog Willows and tried to peek inside. I couldn’t find Uriah anywhere. I headed towards the barn and kept walking towards the north until I hit the empty field. Carefully maneuvering myself over the thick brown, flatten grass; I glanced to the east taking in the rolling waves of black dirt, empty of movement. I had thought, just maybe, Uriah was taking a stroll in the field looking for something repugnant to roll in. He wasn’t there…

I walked back south, turned and headed once more to path towards the east. I walked to the far back.  Carefully I avoided holes and barbed wire and stared along the farmer’s air field, first towards the red barn, then to the grove of trees, south.  

By this time anger was being replaced by fear. The farmer is known for shooting dogs.

I started to walk back towards the house.

 Suddenly, Uriah appeared, his tongue hanging out; tired he flopped at my feet and looked up as if he wanted me to give him a few minutes to recover from his run.

“Where did you go?”  I rubbed his face checking his fur for animal dung.

Uriah hung his head and stared at the ground.

With a heavy sigh, I started walking back to the house. A Blue Jay appeared and screamed at us. Uriah jumped up and walked along side me…

Winter Edges Out As The Vernal Equinox Nips At It’s Heels~

Yesterday I opened my curtains to a heavy snow storm. I stood at the window for a second, then turned away to make a cup of coffee. When I came back the hallucination was still out there.

The day before it was in the middle sixties, warm sunshine, trees budding, birds singing out ,”Spring! Spring!” 

This was a big surprise; I knew the temperatures were dropping. When I took Uriah out for his nightly walk I had felt the cold air moving in.  But I didn’t expect this! Three to four inches of snow on the deck and a beautiful holiday scene cascaded down in front of me.

 I needed another cup of coffee.

Uriah ran outside happy. Very happy! He loves the snow. I pulled on my boots and zipped up my coat.  Grumbling, I grabbed my knit hat, shoved it on my head and walked outside.

The snow was perfect for snowmen, snow angels and snowball fights. None I planned on making or getting into.

The birds were silent in the heavy snowfall. The water on the path had drained off.  With the coating of snow, my boots never touched the mud.

Directly in front of me a mole popped out of the snow. He was very surprised to see me; even more so when Uriah grabbed him and tossed him up like a squeaky toy. Ouch! Quickly, Uriah stepped back afraid that the mole was going to bite. The mole never got back up…

Today- the sun came out and started melting the snow on the deck. Water poured into the outside dog kennel. Uriah sat out in the yard in the sun and watched the snow disappear over the chipmunk holes.

 I shuffled over to the garden and pointed at the large hole next to the dog kennel. “Stare at this hole!”  I poked the soft dirt with my ski pole. “And when he comes out, toss him up in the air!” 

Uriah glanced at the rat hole.  With a heavy sigh he walked back to the chipmunk hole and sat down and waited.

This Bird~Poem For Jingles Thursday Poets’ Rally~

This bird

now featherless

its coat dropped carelessly

in a pile, under a leafless tree

on a patch of washed-out grey leaves

one could hope he forgot where he left them

if not, their velvety softness will be reused in a nest

for warmth, and comfort with instructions on hunting

                                                                                    This bird…

posted for:

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/thursday-poets-rally-week-10-march-18-march-24-2010/

The Three Brothers~ Or Water, Water Everywhere!

This morning was gorgeous, humid, but a beautiful day. Every bird bellowed out a tune. The rains had stopped for now and I could see clouds moving in from the west, not the heavy menacing dark clouds, just a soft grey over cast type, the ones that will defuse the bright sunshine and hold in warm air.

I walked over to the path, hoping to be able to take a longer walk. I had my camera out I took some pictures of moss, melting snow and water. I was able to get a lot of pictures of water. The path was overflowing. I could see the line of water running through the neighboring fields.

I headed back to the house.

 All three of my male cats were sitting by the kitchen door. The screen was keeping them inside, as they sat and stared out at me in my bright orange coat.

 I have small red garden shed that had seen better days. The roof is leaking and with the past few years of flood waters pouring though it, the walls are rotting. I moved the square paver stone that held the door closed and I pulled the door open. A rush of rodent odor over powered me, and I stepped back and took a deep breath, then went in looking for a rake. I untangled the old red rake from the garden hose and quickly shut the door and pushed the rock back into place.

Uriah followed me as I scraped around the flower beds that bordered the front of the house. Three sections set in-between each five foot evergreen bush.

I had cleared a lot of the leaves out in fall, so I only had a sprinkling of dried leaves from the Tiger Lily’s and Catnip.  As I cut away last years died leaves from the Lily of the Valley, I was surprised it hadn’t disengrated into the soil.

Uriah always helpful laid in the flower bed right on what I was clearing off. He wanted a biscuit from my pocket. I know!  I was training him to be in the way, because every time I told him to move I would toss his milk bone over my shoulder. I quickly ran out of treats, at that point he fell asleep and I worked around him.

From between the soil and rocks tiny black spiders poured out over my hands, as a large black ant raced away from me. I was near the old bird bath, the top section sits right on the ground, I have to remember to bring out a pan of warm water and rinse it out. Right now it has dark water from the leaves that sat in it all winter. A black toad, the size of my hand slowly pulled himself out of my pile of grass and leaves, and lumbered back into the garden to the bird bath…

Gardening Tips From A Dog~

Why do we think birds have it so good
Because they don’t have credit cards
and electric bills
That they can fly
when and where they want to
without worry..
Maybe they think what we have is great
Living inside structures
that don’t fall down in heavy winds
and we aren’t someone’s food, or play toy…
Seems we have more in common than not
I just wish I had wings…

The rain poured down this morning, an attempt by Mother Nature to clean off the winters sludge from the roads, buildings and ground. Most of the snow surrounding the house melted off this morning. Before this winter will be official over it will take a few heavy rains, then some sunny days to bake everything clean.

I walked over to the Bog Willows and peered inside their tangled branches, I saw where the snow was hiding. Every bit of ground in the shadows was snow covered. White and icy, refusing to let go of winters bite.

Uriah was very disappointed when I refused to walk in the cold water, which covered the low end of the path. He carefully inched along the un-melted ice and drank from the water.

The skies above us were heavy with moisture. The clouds were a deep soft grey, they moved quickly overhead. I looked up at the motionless tree tops. All the wind was high up in the clouds, the winds pushed them into rolling mountains that swiftly changed shape every second.

With our walking path blocked I turned my attention to the vegetable garden. This past October I had covered it with a tarp and wooden fencing, and an occasional pizza box. I had stuffed a large plastic garbage bag full of autumn leaves and set it in the garden. My intention was to dig those leaves into the newly turned soil and pile them around tomato plants. Right now that bag sat, bloated, in the middle of the garden waiting for me, and spring.

 I walked around the covered area. Stopped and called for Uriah.  

Uriah came over and sat next to me and stared at the garbage bag like I had commanded him to, and then looked up at me waiting for a biscuit.

I pointed to one of the tarps. “You think we can uncover one part and set up a cold frame?”

Uriah actually looked as though he were thinking. He stood up and stepped into a section that was not covered and slowly tried to dig in the dirt. Then he looked up at me with mud stuck to his paws.

“Okay! I get it too mushy to play in, maybe next week!”

Uriah looked at me, sighed, then walked over to a hole and stuck his nose in it, and then he stood back and sneezed. 

“Right! That last rat has to go!” I backed away. I am not crazy about rodents!  “You get right on that!” I raised my eyebrows and kept inching backwards.

Uriah isn’t fond of rats! This rat has taken his biscuits, food and chew toys over the past few months. Whenever I mention that fact, I am told rats bite, hard!  Uriah gave me a look and went into the kennel and slipped into his dog igloo and left me standing there, alone.

 I looked up into the sky, I could hear the high pitch scream of the Red Tail Hawk.  

“Hey, Uriah maybe the hawk will get that last rat for us!”

I turned my attention to the birds. I could hear Blue Jays screaming. The Black birds were congregating in the tree tops and a Robin chattered angrily at me from a Mulberry tree.   Cardinals flitted in and out the branches of the leafless Crab Apple trees.  Somewhere on top of the barn, Doves cooed in a rolling Scottish accent:-)

I pulled my camera out, fully intent on capturing a picture of that Robin. I haven’t seen one since December. I started snapping pictures of the clouds and the lack of snow.

Uriah decided he was bored and followed me to find that Robin. Except every time I pointed the camera he decided to bark at the birds. I gave him a biscuit, or three.  He was trying to protect me from the, big mean Robins. How dare they chatter at me…

Sixteen Seconds Of Geese And Wind~

This morning I stepped outside to sunshine and heavy humid air. Along the western horizon I could see dark clouds moving slowly east. Black birds were pushing aside wet leaves in an attempt to find worms that had felt the warmth and slithered to the surface. I wondered how many they actually found.  Or was my guess of worms wrong and they were eating seeds, or larva.  The ground was still a solid block of ice, later on I will have to crawl around and check out the area myself…

I shuffled over the leaves and the black birds scattered as I passed by.

 The low area of the path had gotten muddier over night. Even now, the ice and snow melted under the glare of warm sunshine.  The thick broken ice became more of an obstacle course than an uncomplicated walk. At least the ice held the sharp sticks as I slipped over them. The mud, black and slippery, allowed the one to two inches of broken and cut sticks and grass, the opportunity to puncture my boots. 

Walking through this area took more time than it had yesterday.  Uriah became impatient and ran on ahead. He had disappeared into the trees by the time I started walking up the slight incline. I moved south, then east, straight into the un-melted snow.

The distinct smell of skunk wafted around the trees, I glanced around and didn’t see him. I decided, that it was a smart idea to leave, while I could still taste and smell.

 The birds were very vocal again today. Their songs intermingled into a sweet sound of spring.  I stood next to a knocked down fence post and closed my eyes and listened.

A train was heading through the town; the wind blew straight at me from the south, bringing every clack-clack and heavy thudding sound clear as a bell into my universe.  I turned on my camera and started the video; I was only able to capture a sixteen second piece of geese flying over head, before the camera flashed low battery and shut off.

Ooops! I forgot to recharge the battery last night. I slipped the camera back into its case and started walking home.  

A breeze kicked up around me, low to the ground. I smiled, and looked up at the tree tops, enjoying the warmer air. Then I started to sneeze, and sneeze and sneeze and sneeze. I’m allergic to mold! When we have a heavy rain that hangs around for a few days or like today, slow melting snow… That’s when mold appears and I start sneezing, eyes watering and I sound very congested.

I stopped my trek to admire some bright green moss I had found yesterday under a tree. (I had taken a picture.)  That tree had mold growing along its trunk… Oh well!

By the time I reached the house the sun had disappeared behind heavy dark grey clouds.

If it was possible it felt like the air had doubled in humidity. At least I stopped sneezing…

Spring Is Trying Real Hard To Find Its Way To Illinois!~Lovely Skunk Perfume:-)

A fog rolled in over night and hung on through the morning, the sky a grayish white that shifted downwards and covered everything. As I walked around the back path, I stopped and listen to the birds. They were heralding in spring.

Rains had started yesterday so the ground had a mushy soft coating like frosting on a cake and ice hard underneath.

I side stepped muskrat holes, coyote and raccoon scat.

 This is a muskrat hole I have been avoiding all winter, still the snow hangs on around it…

As I headed back home I hesitated along the northern section and tried to pull out movement in the underbrush. Two days ago, when I walked this same area I stepped into a cloud of skunk perfume. I gagged and blinked, Uriah who had been right  behind me, slowly backed up and grimaced, then took off on a run, back towards the house.

Chicken!

I really wish I could move that fast.

Luckily the spray didn’t hit me directly so I was able to smell and taste within the hour.

Michael kept coming up to me all night and sniffing, then asking if I smell a skunk….

Today I didn’t see or smell a skunk. But the birds were in full song, especially the Black birds! The cardinals live in the trees near the house. The past few days the geese have been flying low, honking and filling the sky with their V shaped formations. I pulled out my camera and started video taping the birds. I edited them, and added a short poem.